i’ve been reading a magical series of novels from an imaginary time of imaginary kingdoms, filled with beauty and destruction. in this world ravens are trained and cared for as messengers. messages sent from one “claimed king” to another, written demands of one noble family awaiting a reply, or announcing what has befallen a kingdom. and, very rarely, a white raven will be sent into the heavens to bring news of the greatest importance.
within the pages of these novels eagles soar in an unknown and desolate landscape to become seekers and seers for those who remain grounded. these eagles disguise their human, or close to human form to take to the sky and become the eyes of their beloved leaders. these fantastical images of our flying friends have caused me to take time with their kind and discover more. just imagine the immense variety and number of feathered creatures! i didn’t realize the scope myself until opening to the wonders and beauty they offer that go unnoticed for most.
in the world, bird species number over 10,000. living in california, we have an abundance of bird species numbering more than 640. the majority of the species are known as passerines, or perching and singing birds. isn’t that marvelous? the species in our state range from hummingbirds to condors, from arctic loons to zone-tailed hawks. i’m stopped in my tracks when i look up to see a red-tailed hawk gliding overhead. their beauty and grace never ceases to amaze me. the same is true for the hummingbirds who flit from the surface of my pool to the trees in a millisecond.
my previous home was the flight pattern for a large group of red-crowned amazon parrots. around 6a.m. i could walk out my front door to a cacophony of screeches and calls from these entertaining creatures perched on a tree in the front yard. they arrived like clockwork, every morning, as if to greet me and wake up the neighborhood.
i’ve had a number of bird buddies throughout my adult life. each one has a unique character, or personality, all their own. a delightful sun conure was my first venture into the care and nurturing of birds. i fed her as a baby and she believed i was her mother. she would climb under blankets and sweatshirts, cuddle up against me and make what i can only describe as bird purrs. when she died, it was like losing a loved one.
now we have hiccup and pincher, two brazilian caiques. hiccup is filled with love and wants to be with me all the time because i fed and raised her at a very young age. but if she decides she doesn’t like you, she’ll run after you, becoming an attack bird. pincher is a clown, rolling around with her favorite toys, grabbing rings and earrings, never taking anything too seriously.
so the next time you hear the song of a mourning dove or see a hawk moving gracefully through the air, or see a collection of birds resting on an electrical wire, stop and give yourself a moment to appreciate this special part of our world. put out feeders in your yards and bird baths. promote all bird species and let them live and live well.